#blogelul — be

mad man

Ad man William Bern­bach devel­oped a num­ber of famous cam­paigns. For our pur­pose today, his most impor­tant is that for Levy’s bak­ery.

Cor­rec­tion (Jan­u­ary 14, 2014): the woman behind the man!

Judy Por­tas died Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 7, 2014 at the age of 91. As the sto­ry in the New York Times reports:

As Ms. Pro­tas, a retired adver­tis­ing exec­u­tive at Doyle Dane Bern­bach who died on Tues­day at 91, well knew, a cam­paign spent sell­ing rye bread to Jews would be a cam­paign squan­dered in preach­ing to the con­vert­ed.

We had a local bread, real Jew­ish bread, that was sold wide­ly in Brook­lyn to Jew­ish peo­ple,” she told The New York Times in 1979. “What we want­ed to do was enlarge its pub­lic accep­tance. Since New York is so mixed eth­ni­cal­ly, we decid­ed to spread the good word that way.”

And thus, from Ms. Protas’s large­ly anony­mous pen sprang a slo­gan — “You don’t have to be Jew­ish to love Levy’s Real Jew­ish Rye” — that has far out­lived the actu­al cam­paign, which began in 1961 and ran through the 1970s.

one of the

one of the “you don’t have to be
jew­ish…” cam­paign posters

I’ve not been able to learn exact­ly when the phrase was first used, but a Google Engram search sug­gests that the meme took off some­time around 1962 or 1963. After rock­et­ing to star­dom the use of the phrase seems to have plateaued by the end of the decade. Nonethe­less, when you do a Google search on the phrase now, it takes only a quar­ter of a sec­ond to return over a mil­lion ref­er­ences.

[you don't] have to be Jewish - engram

[you don’t] have to be Jew­ish — engram

let me count the ways

The phrase has been used in many dif­fer­ent con­texts. These include a com­e­dy album of which there are over 700 clips and vari­ants on YouTube as well as oth­er uses, both com­mer­cial:

you don't have to be jewish to love atlantic

you don’t have to be jew­ish to love atlantic

Date: 1960s
Size: 5.1
Pin Form: straight
Print Method: cel­lu­loid
Text YOU DON’T
HAVE TO BE
JEWISH
TO LOVE
ATLANTIC

and polit­i­cal:

you don't have to be jewish to vote for gore/lieberman

you don’t have to be jew­ish to vote for gore/lieberman

Date: 2000
Size (3 vari­ants): 3.2, 5.5, 8.7
Pin Form: [straight] clasp
Print Method: cel­lu­loid
Text YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE JEWISH
TO VOTE FOR
JOE LIEBERMAN —— AL GORE
for Vice Pres­i­dent —— for Pres­i­dent
2000
AMERICA’S TEAM

and more per­son­al­ly (and sea­son­al­ly time­ly, because the Hurvitz fam­i­ly pro­duced a leaflet we dis­trib­uted at Yom Kip­pur ser­vices in Los Ange­les in 1966) polit­i­cal:

you don't have to be jewish to oppose the war in vietnam

you don’t have to be jew­ish to oppose the war in viet­nam

Date: 1960s
Size: 3.5
Pin Form: straight clasp
Print Method: cel­lu­loid
Text YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE
JEWISH
TO OPPOSE
THE
WAR IN VIETNAM

extending (or paraphrasing) hillel

So, while you don’t have to be Jew­ish…

…if not you, who?

And, if not now, when?


on “do” and “be”

My col­league and friend Phyl­lis Som­mer who ini­ti­at­ed and set the prompts for #Blo­gElul may not have con­sid­ered the spe­cial nature of the sequence.

There are a cou­ple of places on the Web that explore the “pro­gres­sive” rela­tion­ship of “do” and “be”:

  • Hen­ning Schürig shared this in June of 2006:
    • To be or not to be. – Shake­speare
    • To do is to be. – Niet­zsche
    • To be is to do. – Sartre
    • Do be do be do. – Sina­tra
  • A vari­ant appears at the Eng­lish Lan­guage and Usage pages of Stack Exchange
    • To be is to do. —Socrates [Odd, did Sartre pla­gia­rize Socrates?]
    • To do is to be. —Pla­to [And, did Niet­zsche pla­gia­rize Pla­to?]
    • Do-be-do-be-do. —Sina­tra

We do not have Socrates, Pla­to, Niet­zsche, nor Sartre speak­ing their wis­dom in their own voic­es, how­ev­er, we do have Sina­tra. While it may seem a bit odd, Frank sings of appro­pri­ate con­cerns at this time of year: of face to face com­mu­ni­ca­tions as well as of “doing” and “being”. Pay spe­cial atten­tion at minute 2:17.

your lapel buttons

Many peo­ple have lapel but­tons. They may be attached to a favorite hat or jack­et you no longer wear, or poked into a cork-board on your wall. If you have any lay­ing around that you do not feel emo­tion­al­ly attached to, please let me know. I pre­serve these for the Jew­ish peo­ple. At some point they will all go to an appro­pri­ate muse­um. You can see all the but­tons shared to date.

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